It’s been four long years since Race Driver: Grid exploded onto the racing scene with a unique blend of simulation elements and arcade excitement not found in other titles. With the official announcement trailer being released today, we can now look forward to getting back behind the wheel of one of the best racers we’ve ever played. So what is Grid 2 bringing to the track this time around?
Codemasters is describing Grid 2 as a “cinematic” race experience, the evidence of which can be seen in the trailer and the screenshots below. The presentation is reminiscent of recent DIRT titles. In addition, the developers are pushing the concept of Total Race Day Immersion, using first-person camera angles, even between races, to put the player as close to the action as possible. Adding to the realism and helping to keep the race at the “heart of the experience” will be the newly revamped EGO engine, producing better damage modelling and a smarter AI. Executive Producer Clive Moody explains:
“We’re going to make street, track and road racing exciting again. The core design philosophy for GRID 2 is that we treat the race as a character, not a consequence of simply putting cars on tracks. Everything that goes into the game impacts on that second-to-second, in the moment, blockbuster drama – the feel and personality of the race.”
One of the features that made the first Grid so universally loved was its inclusion of a vast array of vehicles to fit the driving styles of any racer, from Japanese drifters to American muscle-cars. This selection will be returning to the second installment, as will the wide variety of tracks. Codemasters has already hinted at races taking place in Chicago and Paris, but we’ll undoubtedly see more. Together, these features will from another lengthy and challenging campaign.
Just as important to its popularity was Grid’s impeccably balanced handling. It fell somewhere between the precision of a sim and the fun of an arcade racer. While it was easy to throw the back end of a car out and slide around a sharp corner, players were always given a sense of being in control. For Grid 2, the physics will build upon the existing handling model from the first game, thus offering up some familiarity to returning players. Codemasters has included the new “TrueFeel System” to not only achieve that same balance between sim and arcade, but to also offer up a learning curve for racers looking to really hone their skills.
There are a few other features returning to Grid 2 as well. It will implement the Flashback rewind system, which it pioneered, as well as split-screen co-op racing. As expected, it will use Codemasters’ RaceNet as a hub for online careers.
Grid was a rare and unexpected gem of a racer when it was released in 2010. According to Codemasters, Grid 2 has been in pre-production and development since that same year. That means this full-fledged sequel has been given the time and attention it needs to match the near-perfect performance of its predecessor.
Slated for release in 2013 for the PC, XBox 360, and PS3, Grid 2 is nowhere near the finish line yet. We’ll keep our eye peeled for any more details the arise. In the meantime, stay tuned to OnlySP for more news and make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-the-minute information.